Do you notice any differences (on average) between more affordable and more expensive blushes?

Yes, I feel like drugstore brands still are behind when it comes to producing high-performing color makeup, including blushes, bronzers, etc. They are getting better, but it feels like a very slow process. If you go indie, you can find some better and more affordable blushes, but as far as what you’ll find at the drugstore vs. Sephora and the like, yeah, mid-end and higher-end tend to have more coverage, more refined/finely-milled powders, and they’ll sit better on skin with less powderiness.

— Christine


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Seraphine Avatar

I haven’t used drugstore blush, but I do see a big difference between inexpensive indie brands, like ColourPop, and higher end blushes (Dior, Chanel, etc.). The higher end blushes go on like a dream, while the inexpensive blushes require a bit more work to get a smooth application. My most-used blushes are mid-range (MAC and Clinique) and I think they perform extremely well, especially Clinique Cheek Pops, which I feel perform as well as a high-end product.

Mariella Avatar

I don’t have any super expensive brushes – the “priciest” ones I have are from MAC, Shiseido and Smashbox (back in the day when none of these were synthetic) so maybe I’m not a great one to answer this question but some of the best brushes I have actually came from Sephora (their former cream shadow brush is the BEST concealer brush I’ve ever used) and Real Techniques. But again, I don’t have Wayne Goss or Chanel brushes for comparison.

Mariella Avatar

OH DUH….I thought this said “brushes”!!!! Not enough morning coffee (well, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it).

Generally, I find mid to higher range blushes perform better for me – Dior’s Rosy Glow Awakening Blush is one of the pricier ones I have and it’s perfect. The Becca luminous ones – spectacular. MAC blushes – the ED and some of the Mineralize ones as well as many from their permanent range – also excellent. I’ve probably got some more “budget price” blushes that are good but off hand, I can’t think of any….

Nancy T Avatar

Most of the time, yes. There have been exceptions to this at times, as in; back when Essence had a couple very nice shades (I do still use Satin Love!), Nyx also used to always have really good quality blushes, too. But, on average, DS/LE blushes run more powdery and don’t seem to last quite as long on the cheeks before beginning to fade.

Brian Avatar

Not enough of one to justify the price difference just based on formula and performance. I notice it most in powder eyeshadow though, I just don’t bother with drugstore at all.

Meredith Avatar

I have tried MAC, PMG, Essence, CP but the one that steals the show for me is the e.l.f. putty blush. I am an oily gal and as much as I am in love with the PMG brand as a whole with the interstellar vamp vibe and the quality of her releases, nothing else stays on my face like e.l.f. There isn’t another product like it for me. Everything else is just a wash.

Rachel R. Avatar

Even though there are lots of really great DS blushes, such as e. l. f. ‘s and ColourPop’s, most DS brands’ blushes are more powdery and have shorter longevity. Indie blushes tend to be really good, in my general experience.

I find higher end blushes usually have a better texture, don’t oxidize as badly, and have better pigmentation than DS. They have more and better color options, too .

BrandiD Avatar

I have tried every blush formula I think exists, and I have mixed feelings about most of them. A lot of the higher end formulas have a strong color payoff, which is great! Except for me, because I have rosacea and it makes the color stick out badly. I also find that a lot of pricier blushes can go on patchy, due to laying down too much color. However, cheaper blushes often have odd shades or your color choices are basic pink vs basic peach. I just find what I like that works, and stick with that — most of my favorites are by MAC or Clinique’s Pop line.

Bren Avatar

I am super happy with Sydney Grace blushes – especially Pink Lemonade, Secret and Paris Skies. I have a couple of Laura Geller blushes too. I don’t think I have ever purchased high-end blushes such as Tom Ford or Pat McGrath. Are they really worth the money? I guess I don’t fully understand spending so much money on makeup products unless I were a model or something. Tee!

Z Avatar

Not particularly. Both ranges rely heavily on silicones and that’s an ingredient I have to avoid. Otherwise, maybe there are some unique blush color options at the high end range, but generally I see the same shades of pink across low and high end.

Alice Avatar

Although I still happen to own more blushes than I can every finish, this is one thing I don’t hoard as I much comparing to my other products since I can only wear it in peach, coral, and pink. I don’t mind spending the money on 3 really good blushes in luxurious pretty packaging to make putting it on more enjoyable. I found HE ones usually are harder pressed, therefore much less powdery and chalky, then DS brand. Brands like Maybelline, Revlon, Covergirls really lack behind in their powder products in general, while their blushes works, I totally won’t recommend any of them. There are plenty of good affordable blushes out there though, such as Essence and Colourpop. NYX blushes are also just as good as as most highend blushes imo.

High-end Asian brands also tend to be more powdery and more loosely pressed (Shu Uemura, Shiseido).

My personal favorite is Hourglass, as it gives the perfect amount of color with the most beautiful air brushed look.

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